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Parking a car for a two week section of the PCT
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Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Parking a car for a two week section of the PCT on 06/08/2013 11:56:34 MDT Print View

If I was set on doing High Sierras section of the PCT then is it possible / advisable to park my car at Hwy 395 and Kennedy Meadows road intersection and hitching back to it 2 weeks later?

I'm feeling out a plan and it would be ideal to leave car here then hitch up to Kennedy Meadows with a ride I already know is going up this less travelled road at the time I'll choose to drive up. Then I would hike my hike to Mammoth Lakes. Then hitch the main road back to 395 Kennedy Meadows intersection (which seems quite do-able).

This is ideal.

But nice car is vulnerable and may be ticketed? Maybe there is a trail angel I can leave car with near that intersection but it is 22 miles from the trail so I doubt it.

Ideas are welcomed!!!!!

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Parking a car for a two week section of the PCT on 06/08/2013 12:11:19 MDT Print View

Sorry, don't have any feedback about that specific location. But you might consider parking in Inyokern and getting a ride to the trailhead (which you could arrange in advance), then taking the ESTA bus from Mammoth back to Inyokern at the end. Might save you a lot of hitchhiking.

Stephen Adams
(stevemkedcom) - MLife

Locale: Northwest
Parking a car for a two week section of the PCT on 06/08/2013 12:36:02 MDT Print View

I just came from there a 2 weeks ago. If you wanted to leave your car at Kennedy meadows I am sure you could leave it at Toms place across the street from the general store. He is a PCT trail angel. If you left it at Lone Pine or Inyokern you probably would not have to much problem hitching. Lots of other PCT hikers around doing it so I think the locals are use to picking them up. Not much traffic going up 9 mile canyon road to Kennedy Meadows but I am sure some one would pick you up. You mite want to look at going in at Horseshoe meadows campground instead of Kennedy meadows. This gets you 42 miles closer to the JMT and the beginning of the high sierras. There is a road that goes directly from Lone Pine to there and it is only a 3 mile and 500 ft elevation gain to the PCT from Horseshoe meadows campground. there is a private shuttle you can take from Lone Pine to Horseshoe meadows campground but I think its about 80 bucks. If you do go from Kennedy Meadows make sure you print out the latest PCT water report. When I was there a couple of weeks ago the usually reliable streams were drying up.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
I've hitched from that intersection twice... on 06/08/2013 14:34:38 MDT Print View

when doing a flip when hiking the PCT. Once I paid a local Kennedy Meadows guy $20 to give a friend and I ride down to the road. Then the friend and I hitched north. It was pretty easy.

After hiking back to that point from near Ashland, I hitched a ride down from Kennedy Meadows and then got a reasonably quick hitch north.

Hitching is very fickle, and both times I found that once I hit Reno it was nearly impossible to hitch north from there. Between the Kennedy Meadows intersection and Mammoth was fairly steady progress. A sign (ie HIKER TO MAMMOTH) a backpack, hiking poles and a big smile help a lot. If it were me I'd probably follow the suggestion to park at Tom's Place, and leave him a donation.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Where to leave car in Lone Pine? on 06/08/2013 14:57:54 MDT Print View

Related Q is where to leave a car in Lone Pine for a week or so? Can you leave it at the Inyo FS office? Is it safe? Car will have some additional luggage in it.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Where to leave car in Lone Pine? on 06/08/2013 15:14:27 MDT Print View

I've asked Forest Service if I could park in their lot for a few days and they said no. That was in Randall Washington, but I suspect that's policy, although it may be different at other places and times.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Parking a car for a two week section of the PCT on 06/08/2013 20:30:59 MDT Print View

The last I heard, you could park your car in the lot behind the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce for $20.00. You might want to google the Chamber and ask whether this is still possible. It is a good deal.

Edited by Rincon on 06/08/2013 20:32:12 MDT.

Jeffrey McConnell
Lone Pine Chamber on 06/09/2013 08:29:03 MDT Print View

The Chamber of Commerce was available for parking last summer. I had bad timing though and happened to do my trip when they were scheduled to repave it so I parked for a week on a residential street of the main road a bit. Worked great for me and it was free.

Christopher *

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Parking a car for a two week section of the PCT on 06/11/2013 11:53:46 MDT Print View

+1 for Horseshoe meadows campground.

In my experience it is not a difficult hitch to Lone Pine from the far end (plus I think there is a bus option), and last year the local outfitter in Lone Pine gave me and a friend a ride up the long switch-backing road from town to the HM campground for 20 bucks. For a straight hitch, traffic on that road is mostly in the early morning and evening as day hikers come and go from the campgrounds trail-heads.

Edited by cfrey.0 on 06/11/2013 12:07:27 MDT.